Good start to the Italian Grand Prix for Jorge Martin

31/05/2019

Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 duo conclude the first day of action in Mugello in the top 15, with Martin in seventh position and Binder in thirteenth.

The Italian Grand Prix got underway on Friday at the Mugello Circuit with the first two free practice sessions of the weekend. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders both achieved positive top 15 positions on the combined FP1 and FP2 timesheets, after improving their lap times on Friday afternoon.

Brad Binder started the day where he left off in France, positioning himself in the top 5 for most of the FP1. On lap 13, of a total of 17, the South African rider set a personal best of 1:53.384, eventually ending up 13th. His teammate, Jorge Martin, gradually improved during the first practice run, reducing his lap times as he went along. On the last of the 16 laps he put in, the Spaniard stopped the clock at 1:53.200 and finished ninth.

Despite the 40ºC track temperature in the afternoon, Jorge Martin confirmed his good feeling, improving his best time in FP2 by almost seven tenths. The current Moto3 World Champion finished seventh, with a 1:52.548, just half a second behind the fastest rider. Brad Binder again featured in the top 5 in the first part of the session and, although he improved on his best FP1 lap time, he finished the day 13th – with a 1:52.709 – completing a total of 15 laps.

Given today’s results, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 pair are provisionally classified for Q2, with FP3 still to come tomorrow morning. The Moto2 Q1 session will take place at 3:05 pm local time, followed by Q2 at 3:30 pm.

Results (Combined practice times FP1 – FP2)
1. Luca Marini (Kalex) 1:51.986
2. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 1:51.994 +0.008
3. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 1:52.173 +0.187
4. Marcel Schrotter (Kalex) 1:52.447 +0.461
5. Nicolo Bulega (Kalex) 1:52.524 +0.538
7. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:52.548 +0.562
13. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:52.709 +0.723

41 BRAD BINDER

“It was a tough day, we tried to improve on certain points but we still don’t know for sure if they worked. It was tricky for me to feel good with the bike today, even if we are close. It’s clear that we were stronger on the last run than in the previous attempts but, even so, we could still be higher up. We will continue to work hard, tomorrow we will try to get the best out of the bike and prepare for Sunday.”

88 JORGE MARTIN

“I’m happy because today was a good day. I came to the track motivated, as I like Mugello, and this morning I managed to get ninth. Afterwards we made a big change on the bike and I noticed a big improvement, so now I can keep the pace higher and turn much better, which has been the most difficult thing for us. When we put the new tyres on, I set a better hot lap. I’m feeling confident after the Le Mans race, so tomorrow we will try to remain in Q2. The most important thing is to be as high up as we can for Sunday.”

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